Most people would know the name McAfee if not the man behind the name. So many off-the-shelf laptops and personal computers come with this anti-virus preloaded and many downloadable software packages urge you to also download McAfee anti-virus.
What many people aren’t aware of is the fact that John McAfee, the founder of the company, was born in Gloucestershire in 1945 to an English mother and a US serviceman father (based near there at the time). After moving to the USA he later obtained a mathematics degree at Roanoke College in Virginia.
McAfee then worked as a computer programmer in various locations including NASA, Univac, Xerox and Lockheed before founding his own company, McAfee Associates Inc (MAI) in 1987. He resigned from MAI way back in 1994 after a sell out to the Intel Security Group with a small fortune in the bank.
Subsequently McAfee continued to accrue personal wealth through his involvement in numerous other company developments, some very successful some not so. At one point he was estimated to be worth over $100 million but much of that has been ‘lost’ due to bad investments and the global recession of 2008; current estimates put a figure on his wealth closer to the single millions.
All the while there were outbursts of ‘unusual’ public behaviour (some involving drugs, weapons, murder and various police authorities) and verbal statements that shocked and provoked the establishment back in the USA in equal measure.
He even joined the US presidential race back in 2018 to stand for president in 2020 as the Libertarian candidate – perhaps of note, none of the other candidates would accept McAfee as their running mate – his campaign eventually came to an unsuccessful ending in May of this year.
In the financial world one of McAfee’s most lauded and controversial statements transpired when, in July 2017, he Tweeted his prediction that Bitcoin would be worth $500,000 by July 2020 or else he would eat a certain part of his anatomy. See this page and the chart below for more detail.
Moreover, and no doubt more provocative, was his alleging that the US Inland Revenue Service (IRS) was out to get him and further declaring that he hadn’t paid US taxes for numerous years. This was seen as a further protest underlining his long held belief that US taxes and the IRS maintained an inequitable system and typically a prime example of McAfee’s ‘untamed side’ poking the tiger which in this case eventually came back to bite him.
So with his recent arrest in Spain it seems as though his prediction about the IRS was more accurate than the Bitcoin one, nonetheless I’m sure we haven’t heard the last of this Gringo’s saga - here’s a clip from the documentary about his larger than life escapades so far “Gringo: The Dangerous Life of John McAfee” Gringo: The Dangerous Life of John McAfee | Official Trailer | A Film by Nanette Burstein - YouTube